According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, Americans visited doctors’ offices 884.7 million times during the past year. Over this same time span, 83.6 percent of people in the United States had contact with a health professional. If you were included in this number, discovering how to see your physician less might interest you.
Growing up, you may have heard the old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Originating in Wales, this phrase may have been used by your parents to encourage you to eat more fruit. Interestingly, it might contain more truth than myth. Eating a juicy, crunchy apple every day might be the key to achieving better health.
According to the Institute of Medicine, men need 38 grams of dietary fiber each day while women need 25 grams of this substance daily. Unfortunately, the average American’s consumption of fiber is only 15 grams each day. According to the Mayo Clinic, a medium-sized apple, with its peeling, contains 4.4 grams of fiber.
Apples are a good source of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water forming viscous gels. Bypassing the digestion of the small intestine, soluble fiber is easily fermented by the microflora of the large intestine. Insoluble fiber is not water soluble in the human gastrointestinal tract. Because it doesn’t produce gels, fermentation is severally limited.
Soluble fiber contains pectin, a polysaccharide. The ability of pectin to thicken a solution or form a gel in the gastrointestinal tract is believed to be the reason behind its numerous beneficial effects on health. Research conducted by Nangia-Makker et al. found pectin was able to bind and reduce cancerous cell migration and tumor growth in rats that were given modified citrus pectin. A study performed by Rabbani et al. showed oral pectin supplementation to infants and children diminished acute intestinal infections and significantly slowed diarrhea. The consumption of pectin is also linked to improved cholesterol levels, diabetes prevention and control, and atherosclerosis treatment.
Consuming fiber helps you feel full longer after mealtimes. Therefore, eating fiber filled foods is a great way to control your weight. Much of an apple’s fiber is located in the peeling. So, you should fight the temptation to throw it in the trash whenever you eat this sweet fruit.
The Alzheimer’s Association says more than five million Americans are living with this debilitating mental disorder. Astoundingly, Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. A research study conducted on mice revealed drinking apple juice might prevent Alzheimer’s disease and combat the effects on aging on the brain. The mice in the study that were administered an apple-enhanced diet demonstrated higher levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and performed better on maze tests than those provided a regular diet.
Apples are a rich source of phytochemicals, a combination of plant chemicals linked to positive effects on health. Apples consist of a variety of phytochemicals that are all strong antioxidants including quercetin, catechin, chlorogenic acid, and phloridzin. The concentration of phytochemicals largely depends on the cultivar of an apple, harvest and storage of it, and processing of it. The intensity of phytochemicals also differs immensely between an apple’s peel and its flesh. Apple peels possess more antioxidant compounds, especially quercetin.
Quercetin is believed to have potential protective effects against both heart disease and cancer. Studies have shown its ability to down regulate the manifistation of mutant p53 in breast cancer cells, hinder tyrosine kinase, inhibit heat shock proteins, and block human leukemic T-cells. In mice liver treated with ethanol, quercetin reduced lipid oxidation while elevating glutathione. This process protected the liver from suffering oxidative damage. Catechin has been found to inhibit intestinal tumor formation and delay tumor onset in mice. Chlorogenic acid poses extremely high alkyl peroxyl radical, ROO, foraging activity. Roo might enhance carcinogenesis and tumor promotion. Therefore, chlorogenic acid may contribute to the effect of apples against cancer. According to a research study conducted by Van der Sluis et al, Jonagold apples consisted of the highest concentration of quercetin, catechin, and chlorogenic acid when compared with Cox’s Orange, Elstar, and Golden Delicious varieties of apples.
To reap the impressive health benefits of apples, eating them plain is one option. Or, you can top apple slices with natural peanut butter or toss them into green or chicken salads. Adding diced apples to slow-cooked, gluten-free oatmeal is another tasty alternative.
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